de little noise about it. But the Spanish ambassador reported him as silently building ships in the Thames and at Portsmouth. As invasion seemed imminent, he began with sweeping the seas of the looser vermin. A few swift well-armed cruisers pushed suddenly out of the Solent, caught and destroyed a pirate fleet in Mount's Bay, sent to the bottom some Flemish privateers in the Downs, and captured the Flemish admiral himself. Danger at home growing more menacing, and the monks spreading the fire which grew into the Pilgrimage of Grace, Henry suppressed the abbeys, sold the lands, and with the proceeds armed the coast with fortresses. 'You threaten me,' he seemed to say to them, 'that you will use the wealth our fathers gave you to overthrow my Government and bring in the invader. I will take your wealth, and I will use it to disappoint your treachery.' You may see the remnants of Henry's work in the fortresses anywhere along the coast from Berwick to the Land's End.
Louder thundered the Vatican. In 1539 H
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